My favorite perfume

Summer I met a man with warm hands and a cold heart, a big mansion by the beach and even bigger secrets. It was filled with bottles of wine and tequila and blinking, colorful lights at night. The songs played loud in every room, so loud I could barely hear my own thoughts; I danced in his arms for hours straight, letting everything go. Then the guests would start to go home, and I was reminded that I didn’t have one. We would be left with empty bottles and an empty house, and when morning came, there would only be silence. I heard every single one of my thoughts, and I felt the man next to me breathing, realizing I was more alone than ever. Then, summer was over and he put his ring back on and left the big mansion to go back to his big apartment in the city. I was even more alone.

Fall I met a man who was even more broken than me. His pieces were falling like leaves, and I thought maybe gluing them back together could be a way to save myself. I heard him talk about his dreams and fears, the places he wanted to go to and the places he never wanted to see again; I heard him talk and talk and tried to feed him words that would maybe make him cry less, but it didn’t really work. I made him tea, searched for books I thought he would like and begged for him to get out of bed. Some days he did, some he didn’t. When it was the latter, I laid next to him, an unsuccessful attempt to be a little less alone. It was months and months of living in his small dark universe, trying to bring some light to it, but then fall was over and the wind came fast, blew strong and left even faster, taking him with it. I was left with nothing but dry leaves, and he faded away.

Winter I was more alone than ever before, looking for someone to keep me warm. I met a man with icy eyes, the bluest I had ever seen. He had the warm hands I had craved so much, he made me the hot tea and asked me many questions he seemed to really care about the answers for. He made silence for my thoughts and turned the exact song I needed to hear loud when I needed to stop thinking. He had secrets it didn’t kill me knowing of, dreams that made me hope, fears that made me feel understood and stories and pictures of places that reminded me of how big the world is. He showed me things I needed to see and told me things I needed to hear; sleeping next to him almost felt like I finally had a home. Almost, but it didn’t. He was everything I wanted and everything I needed, he was the one that was supposed to save me, but he couldn’t; it was then I started to realize people can’t really save each other. Then, winter came to an end, but I still had to face the cold.

Spring I was still alone. For the first time, truly alone, no warmth of love and a body asleep next to me. I was waiting and waiting for a ray of sunshine, a blow of the wind, a falling snowflake, and as I waited and waited, a flower bloomed. It was small and it was fragile, but it was maybe the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It smelled like my favorite perfume and I loved its simpleness more than the faraway thought of seasons that had come and gone, people that had come and gone. After summer and fall and winter, I still had my simple beautiful flower, and I had myself, and it was all so little and so enough and so unquestionably nice, and everyday that spring smelled like my favorite perfume.

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